Brian Keane on how your gym work could be harming your GAA performance
"You can build muscle, lose body fat, and get stronger, fitter, and faster."
Strength and Conditioning coach Brian Keane has revealed how the gym programme that he used to follow was causing him more harm than good on the Gaelic pitch.
Keane played for Galway development teams and senior level for his club, but despite working hard in the gym, thinking he was doing all of the right things, he kept picking up injuries.
The entrepreneur was doing what a lot of young men and women like to do when they attend the gym, and work around what's called "a Bro-split."
This is your basic body building programme where you dedicate one whole gym session to working your back, then the next day it's your biceps and triceps, and so forth.
Speaking exclusively on the latest episode of The GAA Hour, Keane reveals where he went wrong and how he corrected that.
"Part of the reason I created the lean GAA Body Programme is because I was the ultimate 'bro'.
"I was the player who would go to the gym and was following back and biceps day, chest and triceps, leg day, shoulders, and I kept getting injured.
"I would play games and I would get injured. I would play another game, and I would get injured. Until I qualified in Strength and Conditioning, I never understood basic biomechanics.
"I couldn't understand that it was actually my training that was increasing my risk of injury. I was doing one plane of motion, hypertrophy body building style, rep ranges, and workouts.
"That was having a very negative impact on my performance, so when I created the GAA Lean Body Programme, I kept all of those elements of body building, but I added in strength and conditioning, and I added in metabolic conditioning alongside it, so you got the best of all worlds."
🚨BONUS POD 🚨
S&C expert @briankeane1987 joins the GAA Hour to help you prepare for championship:
- Going to the gym the day before matches 🤔
- How recover from games quickly ⏩
- Why every player at every level should take protein shakes 💪
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— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) August 30, 2023
Basically, the 'Bro-split' was great for building muscle and looking good, but it wasn't going to help your performance on the pitch where you wanted to increase things like your fitness, speed, endurance and explosiveness.
However, Keane didn't want to just abandon the aesthetic side of things as well, and valued the importance of wanting to look good in order to feel good on the pitch.
"You can build muscle, lose body fat, and get stronger, fitter, and faster. I was the avatar, I created the programme for the person who couldn't get it.
"I remember I played underage county with Galway, and any time I asked the strength and conditioning coach 'how do I build muscle?' Or 'how do I get a six-pack?' They would look at me and just say 'mirror muscles, you don't need any of that.'
"I could ask a body builder in the gym, and I remember asking Personal Trainers at the time: 'I know you can help me build muscle and get stronger, but how is that going to impact my performance on the pitch?' And they would be like 'I have no idea.'
"I literally just took the best of both worlds, and combined them together, that's how the programme got created, they always say build the business around the pain point that you have, and that was literally me."
You can listen to the full discussion with Keane on the GAA Hour, where we discussed how to prepare for the club championship by maximising your gym work, nutrition and recovery.
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